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Right to Privacy

From lawbrain.com

The right to be free of unsanctioned intrusion.



The U.S. Constitution does not explicitly state the right to privacy. Rather, this right to privacy is based primarily on the interpretation of the 3rd and 4th Amendments of the Bill of Rights.[1] Several Supreme Court decisions have helped to solidify the concept of privacy rights as being a basic human right.

Despite the lack of an explicit right to privacy in the U.S. Constitution, a few states have placed privacy protections in their individual constitutions.[2] According to FindLaw.com, in 1905, Georgia became the first state to establish the tort of invasion of privacy. Now, the vast majority of U.S. jurisdictions allow civil actions for this claim.[3]


The right to privacy was coined from a paper written in 1890 by attorneys Samuel D. Warren and Louis D. Brandeis called "The Right to Privacy".[4] This paper was published in the Harvard Law Review and established privacy as the "right to be let alone".

"The Right to Privacy" was written after an incident in 1883. Warren felt his and his family's privacy had been invaded when a newspaper article[5] was published stating the details of the ceremony and listing the prestigious guests at his wedding to the daughter of Thomas F. Bayard, a U.S. Senator and former candidate for President.[6]


  1. http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html
  2. http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=13467
  3. http://injury.findlaw.com/personal-injury/personal-injury-a-z/invasion-of-privacy.html
  4. http://www.spywarewarrior.com/uiuc/w-b.htm
  5. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9E05EFD9123BE033A25755C2A9679C94629FD7CF
  6. http://www.msulawreview.org/PDFS/2008-1/Gajda.pdf

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